Friday, August 3, 2018
“There is Faith, Hope and Charity. And the greatest of these is Charity.”
Faith, Hope and Charity pour forth from a theological spring with the names of revered saints and a 1001 other references. FH&C have been around for centuries. They trip easily off the tongue. But practical applications in the real world are not so easy to come by. Charity especially.
Some people say paying taxes is a blessing because we generated the income to tax in the first place. Sort of a brick on the back for doing well. Likewise, charitable giving presents some sense of worthiness. We are helping those in need, PLUS we can lessen our own tax bill by claiming a deduction. Paying taxes is universally detested. I trace my own dislike of this scourge to my paternal grandfather, T. F. Reilly. T.F. reputedly kept two sets of books, causing my father, who worked for him, a lifetime of acid reflux while awaiting the knock on the door from the IRS.
On balance, giving is good, but at what cost? How do you select the person or cause to be a recipient from the mob of worthies assaulting our limited treasuries? People like thee and me certainly can't give to one and all. Charities today are professionally marketed. They know the buttons to press, the notes to play on our heartstrings. I watch the toll their pleadings take on a good soul like my wife. Unsolicited trinkets leave her guilt-ridden because she can't open her checkbook each time. She has been encouraged to keep a list of donations we make because this lightens her sadness a bit when she finds a charity's name is already on it. Still, it's just a band-aid.
We need money in order to give it away. We have to strike it rich, and quickly. Crowdfunding has appeal but that is largely over-ridden by common decency when so many others in the neighborhood are in dire straits. My only hope seems to lie in winning the lottery.